Try to be a good lad, magistrate tells thief

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1913 Police Court

At the Borough Police Court before Alderman V Fowler (in the chair), and Mr J Sinfield, Ralph Davison (17), labourer, 2, Sussex Street, was charged with having stolen from 5, Silver Street, a cash box, a silver chain, 13 old coins, and 4½d in money, value together 4s 8d, the property of Dominic Colorelli.

Prisoner, who elected to be dealt with by the magistrates, pleaded guilty.

The Chief Constable said that Dominic Colorelli, an ice cream vendor, left his house at about three o’clock on the afternoon of November 19th, leaving in the cupboard in the kitchen a cash box containing the property mentioned in the charge. The house door was unsecured, and Colorelli returned at 11pm. A man named Germano Dipladico was selling hot chestnuts in Newborough, between eight and nine the same day when prisoner came to him and asked him to buy a silver chain.

He bought it for a shilling and two pennyworth of potatoes. Charles Fordy, Globe Street Lodging House, was in Waterhouse Lane on Saturday November 22nd, when prisoner came to him and gave him nine copper coins and one brass coin, which he afterwards sold to Byron Johnstone for 2d. Johnstone subsequently sold them to a man named Lantley, and the cash box was found on some waste land in St Thomas Street. Detective Nalton, in cautioning prisoner, referred to the cash taken from the box as 4½d, and the boy replied, “No 3½d.”

Prosecutor corroborated the statement of the Chief Constable. Prisoner was not known to him.

He had left the door closed but not locked.

Germano Dipladico, 24, Longwestgate, insisted that he gave prisoner a shilling for the chain, prisoner having stated that he only received 2d for it.

Byron Johnstone gave evidence as to Fordy offering him the coins. He bought them for 2d and subsequently sold them to Luntley for 3d.

Prisoner, in his defence, said he did not know what made him take the articles. He went to see if the woman next door wanted any coals, saw the door open and went in.

The Chief Constable said the boy had been given chances in April, 1906, and in November , 1909.

The Chairman, addressing the lad, said they were going to give him another chance.

The case would be adjourned for a month to see how he behaved, and he would have to come back there on December 22nd.

If he was not a good lad in the meantime they would have to send him to prison.

If he behaved himself he would be bound over for 12 months. He hoped he, prisoner, realised the seriousness of what he was saying.

It was his last chance, and he hoped he would try to be a good lad.